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hello, here in tokyo and you're watching "asia 7 days." thanks for joining us. let's get right to the news. american voters have chosen barack obama as their leader for another four years.
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asian heads of state were quick to offer their congratulations, but the u.s. faces hurdles to remain an active player in the fast-growing region. in his first term, obama shifted u.s. foreign policy toward the asia pacific, an area notable for its rapid economic expansion. enthusiasm over obama's reelection rippled through the region. students at an elementary school in the indonesian capital jakarta cheered loudly. obama attended the school when he was in the third grade. japanese prime minister yoshihiko noda contacted the president and pledged his cooperation.
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u.s. and japan have the opportunity to improve ties, especially since relations between japan and china have soured over the senkaku islands conflict in the east china sea. south korean president lee myung-bak said he's sure the u.s. and south korea will continue to develop their alliance. australia is another key ally in the region. prime minister julia gillard pledged cooperations during president obama's second term. >> i'd like to welcome president obama my warmest congratulations on his reelection. we've got so much to do together in these years. >> chinese leaders also sent congratulatory messages.
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yet china's one asian country that might become frustrated with an expanded u.s. presence in the region. chinese have vowed to strengthen their maritime strength. not everyone in the region shared excitement over obama's victory. ahmadinejad accused the election as capitalists. obama wasted no time in showing his continued interest in the region. white house officials announced on thursday the president is expected to attend the east asia summit next week in cambodia. presidential candidates are stepping up their campaigns. the front runner is taking a
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tough stance on foreign policy and the opposition camps announced a surprise move. park said historical and territorial issues are causing diplomatic conflicts in east asia. she said she'd also be open to dialogue. park said south korea will not tolerate provocations by north korea. that includes nuclear and missile development. they want to open offices in each other's capitals. she said she'd seek to hold talks with north korean leader kim jong-un. she said the senkaku islands are not open to negotiation. japan claims the islands, south korea controls them and calls them tokdo. park showed a willingness to
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negotiate on the deal. the negotiations have been suspended since 2004. opinion polls show park is leading by more than ten percentage points. mo they are seeking to form a united front to defeat park. the two candidates began talks on tuesday and agreed only one of them would continue their campaign.
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the two camps say they plan to select a single candidate before the official registration period begins on november 25th. but a toggle war is expected as both men seem eager to stay in the race. asian and european leadersg economic and political ties, but they spent a lot of time talking about territorial disputes in the region. the 9th asia europe meeting summit brought together leaders and cabinet ministers from 49 countries, including three new members, bangladesh, norway, and switzerland. he said he hoped the summit would help solve various problems faced by asia and europe amid the global financial crisis. e.u. president calls for an expansion of trade to deepen
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economic ties. >> our interdependence is greater than ever. european union is firmly committed to its responsibilities as a strong world actor and strong partner for asia. >> on the second day, the leaders discussed regional issues. japan's prime minister, yoshihiko noda, told asian and european leaders that bilateral disputes should be settled according to established law. his remark is seen as a way of countering china's claim of
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sovereignty over the senkaku islands in the east china sea. the philippine president appealed for cooperation in resolving territorial disputes. he said the philippines has consistently called for peaceful solutions under international rules. vietnamese prime minister also urged that territorial disagreements be solved by international law. the philippines, vietnam, and china have been engaged with disputes over islands in the south china sea, including the spratly islands. but chinese prime minister left laos before the regional issues began. up next, "in depth." china's top political and military leaders are meeting in beijing for the 18th communist party congress.
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over the next week, the elite who control a nation of 1.3 billion people, will reflect on the past and chart a course for the future. here's an in-depth look on what's happening now in china. 2,200 delegates from across the country gathered inside the great hall of the people. they were chosen from more than 80 million party members across china. president hew jintao has led the party as secretary general for the last ten years. the vice president is also in attendance. he's expected to take over the top post from hu on thursday, a day after the congress ends. hu made his final speech as party head. he reflected on his ten-year term and spoke about the challenges awaiting the next leader.
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hu stressed the need to carry out reforms to stem growing public discontent. he called for a greater redistribution of wealth. hu spent about 90 minutes looking back at the past. he then spoke of future goals for china, which is already the world's second largest economy.
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hu spoke bluntly of china's regional aspirations and territorial disputes with japan and other countries. hu jintao served two terms as the communist party secretary general for a total of ten years. what does this decade mean to china? >> china has faced many domestic and diplomatic challenges over the past decade, and the president, hu jintao's leadership.
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>> hu promoted what he called the concept of scientific development. aimed to create a harmonious society. it will be a process for slower growth. the hu administration avoided a $2-million-year-old tax based on farmers' harvest. it was part of the president's effort to narrow the economic gap between urban and rural areas. hu also worked toward a sweeping consultation of coal mines and chemical plants, which resulted in a reduction in pollution. but the president hasn't been able to control china's income disparity or corruption among its bureaucrats, and so public anger with the government is
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snarling. migrant workers in cities and students looking for work are among those who are upset. hu also faced dissatisfaction, ethnic minorities and redevelopment. riots erupted in 2008 and in 2009. on the international front, china and hu used the remarkable economic growth to boost its influence. the country hosted the beijing olympics in 2008 and the shanghai expo in 2010. years of economic growth paid off that same year. china surpassed japan in gross domestic product to become the
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world's second largest economy behind the u.s. the chinese government, with its growing leader, started to flex its muscles in the region. it wrangled with asian nations over control of ireland, in the south china sea, and the east china sea. now we're joined by our correspondent in beijing. you're in the great hall of the people listening to president hu's last speech as communist party general secretary. what do you make of what he said? >> reporter: the most notable part of the speech was when he spoke about an idea he's long supported. he wants to make scientific development, one of the communist party's guiding ideas. it calls for a review of the party's growth for economic
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policy by promoting sustainable development, which takes into account social welfare and the environment, making this idea a guiding principle would be part of hu's legacy. it would give him the stakes of past leaders. and it would help him keep influence within the party after he steps down. hu also admitted china's wealth gap is wide and getting wider, and he said the party would continue to fight corruption. in some ways, hu spoke directly to citizens who are fed up with corruption. the party is trying to keep a
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lead on antigovernment movements by easing public frustration. >> well, hu jintao continues to exert his influence? >> reporter: some people say hu will not completely retire from politics after handing over his post. it's not clear if he will let him become chairman of the party's commission. the highest post is secretary general, but the chair of the central military commission controls the armed forces. they are the two top positions in the country. there is no retirement age for the commissions chairman. hu's predecessor held the chair for two years, even after ending all of the post of secretary general to hu as the 2002 party
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congress. he was able to keep his political inference. some people say hu will also remain the commission's chair, that way he can exert influence over the administration. >> thank you, mishitaka, for that report. the current vice president is set to remain the next secretary at the end of the party congress. here's a look at his career. >> he is 59 years old. communist party leaders named him vice chairman of the central military commission in 2010. in september, xi addressed leaders at a summit to allay concerns about china and show beijing is not a threat.
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xi's father served as vice premier from 1959 to 1962. a clique of politicians who are descendents of influential party officials, but xi's father was in prison in the 1960s. xi endured hardship as well. he was sent to a village. he later graduated in beijing and served for over two decades in coastal provinces. in 2007, he was appointed party chief of shanghai. the city has been an engine of china's economic growth.
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xi broke into the limelight at the communist party congress that year. he was promoted two full ranks and was named to the communist party's standing committee. the committee is made up of the party's leaders. xi's wife is a popular singer. she's also a general in the people's liberation army. analysts say her star power and support from the military have helped xi's career. xi visited the u.s. in february to promote bilateral negotiations. >> i want to welcome vice president xi to the oval office and welcome him to the united states. we expect that china will continue to take a growing role in world affairs.
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>> xi has spent the last couple of years cementing his position as successor to president hu jintao. >> we're now joined by a professor of tokyo university's graduate school. a akio, thank you for joining us today. >> in the past, how could someone like xi, who doesn't have that kind of backing, could become at the top of the leaders? >> well, first of all, we can point out that it happened in the contest of fashionable politics. as you recall in 2006, hu jintao was successful in accepting a powerful figure of his rival
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faction, then party general of shanghai. so in the following year in 2007 when the previous party congress took place, observers thought hu jintao would anoint his favorite follower as the next party secretary, as his heir. however, the demotion urged his rival factions to get together, ally together, and fight back. so in 2007 when the party congress opened, we learned it was xi jingping that was anointed the air to hu jintao. >> why xi and not somebody else? >> xi jingping is the member and they trusted him to never betray the party and be a gorbachev. he's worked in a remote village in the inland part of china and was a relative acceptable
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princeling. >> you know, sources close to the party say the number of party members will be reduced from nine to seven. what kind of new leadership will we be seeing in china. >> well, we will not know until the very last moment on the 15th of november how many of the standing committee members will be, but if there was going to be any reduction, then i think it will mean that the power of an office or two will be reduced, because the power of an office is very much related to the rank of the leader of that particular office. and after the incident earlier this year, one office has been criticized bitterly, which is the political and the legal commission. this is an office that administers the police. the legal department and the secret police. and therefore, if there was going to be a reduction in the
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standing committee of the party bureau, it is rumored it would be the leader of the central political and legal commission. >> hu jintao pledged to build china into a maritime power, but at the same time, china continues to have disputes with neighbors. so how should the new leadership steer china through this? >> it's very difficult, because the basic problem is trust is yet to be established between china and its neighboring nations about china's rapid military buildup. also, it is not easy at all to solve the clash of sovereignty claims of the senkaku islands in the east china sea or the islands in the south china sea. also, there is a problem in the south china sea over the so-called nine dotted lines. these lines drawn in the chinese
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maps of the south china sea indicate a huge u-shaped area, which china claims it has historically established sovereignty rights. but the problem is that this huge area overlaps with the exclusive economic zones of a number of southeast asian nations as defined by the u.n. convention on the law of the sea. and, in fact, this causes a huge headache for the chinese leaders, too, because they don't want to be seen by t international society as a country that breaks international law. but at the same time, they don't want to be seen by the chinese people themselves to be giving away their historical rights. >> professor, thank you very much for sharing your insights today. >> most welcome. that was this week's "in depth." next to "flash news." three japanese tourists in china died after being caught in heavy snow. they were trekking on a
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mountaineer the great wall outside beijing. two women and a man in their 60s and 70s died in the incident. another woman survived, as did the group's chinese guide. the japanese survivor said the group became stuck on the mountain due to a sudden snowstorm. parts of the region have snowfall of more than 50 centimeters, that's the most in over half a century. members of the antiwhaling group sea shepherd have set sail from the coast in australia, setting to protest whaling expeditions. they say they'll confront the whalers in the pacific ocean,
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instead of the antarctic ocean as in past years. paul watson is said to take part of the operation. he's on interpol's wanted list for skipping bail in germany. sea shepherd activists obstructed whaling activities 12 times during last season's expedition. militants in pakistan have staged another attack against women seeking an education. the targets this time were college students. the attack occurred on a van that was carrying 20 students. they were returning home from their university in northwest pakistan. the attackers used guns and hurled what appeared to be acid at the students. two men were burned and shot. nhk interviewed one of the victims after agreeing not to reveal her identity. >> translator: an armed group
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attacked our van. my brother and i were burned. they targeted us because they are againsted girls like me getting an education. >> the incident came just days after taliban gunman shot a 15-year-old schoolgirl. she was campaigning for women's education in pakistan. she's recovering from her injuries in britain. the leaders of vietnam and russia have agreed to talk sea trade talks next year. russian prime minister and his counterpart announced the plan on wednesday in hanoi. economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has been steadily rising. medved said he hopes to get an increase in bilateral trade, that would bring total trade to about $7 billion in 2015. the two leaders also agreed to
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boost military cooperation. vietnam is engaged in territorial disputes with china in the south china sea. it's keen to bolster defenses amid china's growing maritime presence. and that's going to do it for us this week. thanks for watching. we'll see you again next week on "asia 7 days."
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PBS November 23, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm PST

News/Business. World events, business news and weather forecasts; broadcast in English. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY China 30, U.s. 7, Hu 7, Beijing 6, Hu Jintao 5, South China Sea 4, Shanghai 3, Vietnam 3, Obama 3, Us 3, Yoshihiko Noda 2, Korea 2, Australia 2, The East China Sea 2, Pakistan 2, South China 2, East Asia 2, Asia 2, Tokyo 2, U.n. 1
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